We're only a week into 2016, but baseball fans are eagerly awaiting the beginning of spring training and the onset of another season. As we near closer to pitchers and catchers reporting, let's take a look at the Diamondbacks' resolutions for the New Year.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsMatt Kartozian
Sustain offensive production
Having added elite pitchers in Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to their rotation, the D-backs have rounded out their roster. However, if they want to succeed and sustain that success in 2016, they'll have to continue to thrive on all other fronts. While their defensive prowess is unlikely to change, it's uncertain how the D-backs will react to higher expectations. Arizona had one of the most underrated offenses in the NL last season, and now its offense has been thrust into the spotlight and is on everyone's radar in MLB. Nonetheless, led by sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, the D-backs appear to have a productive lineup in place that will carry over its success from last season.
Getty ImagesRob Foldy
Tomas breaks out
Although he was highly coveted as an international free agent, Yasmany Tomas failed to live up to expectations in 2015. In his rookie campaign, the Cuban outfielder notched a .273/.305/.401 split with nine home runs and 48 RBI in 118 games – nowhere near the power numbers that were projected from the 6-foot-2, 255-pound slugger. Now that the D-backs have parted ways with Ender Inciarte in order to acquire starter Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves, the spotlight will be on Tomas in 2016. With a full offseason to make adjustments, Tomas has a golden opportunity to prove his worth to the D-backs and make a major contribution to what the team hopes will be a playoff run this coming season.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Goldschmidt wins NL MVP
Paul Goldschmidt has been one of the most consistent power-hitters in baseball over the past four seasons, posting a .303/.400/.539 split with 108 home runs and 386 RBI in 573 games over that span. Twice in the past three seasons, the first baseman has finished runner-up in the NL MVP voting. However, with the spotlight on the D-backs this year due to their major acquisitions this offseason, Goldschmidt will receive the exposure and attention he deserves and has an outstanding chance to take home the ultimate player's hardware if he can reproduce a season like he had in 2015 (.321/.435/.570 33 HR 110 RBI 21 SB).
Getty ImagesJustin Edmonds
Greinke wins the NL Cy Young
While Jake Arrieta had a fantastic second half of the 2015 season, new D-back Zack Greinke deserved to win the NL Cy Young based on his performance with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the entire course of 2015. Now that he's a bona fide ace after being slightly overshadowed by Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, Greinke will have his best chance to win a Cy Young Award since he did so with the Kansas City Royals in 2009. If the 32-year-old right-hander can post anywhere near the magnificent performance he did in 2015 of a 19-3 record with a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP, he'll most certainly be in the mix for the award. More importantly, he'll be the game-changer the D-backs are hoping for if he can manage to repeat his 2015 success.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Win the division
With the additions that the D-backs' front office has made to the rotation in Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, the days of Arizona dreaming about becoming a powerhouse in the NL West once again have quickly mutated from whim to reality. The D-backs had one of the most underrated offenses in the NL last season (second in runs, third in on-base percentage), and now have a rounded roster with the major acquisitions on the pitching staff. Not only did the D-backs add to their roster, but they also essentially subtracted from the powerhouse Dodgers' roster with their acquisition of Greinke, who was a major cog in Los Angeles' rotation over the past three years. If the Giants remain healthy, they'll pose a serious threat to the D-backs' division goals, but Arizona nonetheless stands a good chance of winning its first NL West title since 2011.